Women's World Cup: England fired up by New Zealand jibes

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP 2011

Venue:
Germany
Date:
26 June - 17 July
Coverage:
Watch all England matches live on the Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); listen on BBC Radio 5 live; highlights on BBC Two; final live on BBC Three

Media playback is not supported on this device

England must win says Williams

Coach Hope Powell said England will use criticism from New Zealand boss John Herdman to motivate them ahead of their crucial Group B game against Kiwis.

Herdman described England as "rigid" and "predictable" following the Kiwis opening game defeat by Japan.

And Powell insists she would pass his comments onto her players.

"We do use quotes [for motivation]," she said. "But I'm sure Casey Stoney, can deal with that one. I'm sure she will take it back [to the players]."

Englishman Herdman, whose team are ranked 24th in the world rankings, said on Thursday: "Against England you know what you're going to get with their style and approach.

"Is it containable? Yes. Is it controllable? Yes. Do they have key players? Yes, and they'll rely on them. We believe we can contain whatever they throw at us. There's a bit of confidence around our team at the moment."

Powell, who heard the comments for the first time in Thursday's news conference, said her players were "raring to go" and recognised that the encounter against the Kiwis in Dresden was a must-win game after drawing 1-1 against Mexico in their opening fixture.

Midfielder Fara Williams believes England - who are ranked 10th in Fifa's rankings - will come up against one of the hardest working teams at the World Cup, and is expecting a tight contest in front of an expected crowd of 18,000 at Rudolf Harbig stadium.

"I don't think there is a team as good as New Zealand for the work-rate they put in for 90 minutes," Williams, 27, told BBC Sport.

"They are going to do that on Friday and it will make it difficult for us. It's definitely a must-win game, three points will set us up nicely going into the [last group] game against Japan.

"If you look at all the groups and all the games at the World Cup, it's mostly one goal that has won it. Goals will be important, but first of all, getting the three points is the most important and if it's 1-0 to us then we will take that.

"The difference between the best teams and the rest is marginal and in this World Cup that has been proven."

Williams scored the opening goal in the game against Mexico, before England were pegged back by a long-range Monica Ocampo strike.

Powell said after the game that goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was bitterly disappointed with the goal, but the England coach said she was fine in training - and had the full support of her team-mates.

Defender and vice-captain Stoney added: "Having played the first game, the players are itching to get out there and play the second.

"I don't think we have to much to atone for in the Mexico game, we played well in patches, but we've got to do it for 90 minutes and we know what we have to do."

Mexico 1-1 England

Top Stories